News room: 10 writing competitions you need to enter before the end of the year

10 writing competitions you need to enter before the end of the year by Jessica Barrah

All through 2015 we’ve been letting you know about a whole host of writing competitions. Perhaps you’ve entered some, and even had some success. Or maybe you meant to enter – but somehow life got in the way. The good news is, there’s still time to enter these ten fantastic writing contests. Even better, working on your competition entry will make a great excuse to avoid that interminable family game of Monopoly/freezing Boxing Day walk.

Magic Oxygen Literary Competition

Details: A competition for poems of up to 50 lines, short stories of up to 4,000 words. For every entry received, Magic Oxygen Publishing will plant a tree in Kenya to create a ‘tropical word forest’. And when the contest closes each entrant will receive the GPS co-ordinates of their tree. The contest is also funding the building of a new classroom at Kundeni Primary School next to the tropical world forest.

Fee: £5.
Deadline: 31st December 2015.
Prizes(in each category): £1,000, £500, £100, and two of £50.

Travel & Water Writing Competition (Senior Travel Expert website)

Details: The competition is for articles of up to 750 words with a travel and water theme. It could be about a river or sea/ocean cruise, or about travel beside a lake or along a coast. Entries can be factual or fictional, and anyone over 16 can enter.
Fee: Free to enter.
Deadline: 31st December 2015.
Prize: £100.

Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize

Details: This annual contest from magazine ‘The Moth’ is for poems of any length and on any subject.
Fee: 12 euros.
Deadline: 31st December 2015.
Prizes: 1st – 10,000 euros. Runners-up (3) – 1,000 euros.

Tethered by Letters Writing Contest

Details: This international competition from American literary journal ‘Tethered by Letters’ has three categories: short story, poetry and flash fiction. The promoters are looking for ‘engaging stories, vivid characters and fresh perspectives and styles.’

Stories should be between 1,000 and 7.500 words, poems can be up to three pages long and flash fiction has limits of 55, 250 or 500 words.

Fee: Entry Fee: Stories – $15. Poems and flash fiction – $7 each, $15 for three.
Deadline: 31st December 2015. (Midnight PST)

Prizes: Stories – $500 and publication in the quarterly journal.
Poetry – $150 and publication in the quarterly journal.

Navigator Around the World: ‘Around the world in 80 pages’

Details: Write up to 2500 characters about your most memorable travel experience, including three photos related to your story.
Fee: Free
Deadline: 31st December 2015.
Prizes: 1st prize – 2500 € in travel vouchers.
2nd prize – 1500 € in travel vouchers.
3rd prize – 1000 € in travel vouchers.
The top 80 entries will be published in a book, and there’s also a special award for the best photo – a digital camera worth 1000 €.

STORGY Short Story Competition

Details: Judged by critically acclaimed author Paul McVeigh, contestants are encouraged to submit online to as early as possible before the deadline. The competition is for unpublished stories of a maximum of 5000 words, written in English.

Fee: £5
Deadline: 30th December 2015 – 11pm (GMT)

Prizes: 1st Prize – £500 2 Runner Up Awards – £25 book vouchers
All winners will receive a signed copy of Paul McVeigh’s debut novel ‘The Good Son.’
Finalists will be published in The 2015 STORGY Short Story Competition Anthology.

Hourglass Competition

Details: The new Hourglass Literary Magazine has a competition for short stories, essays and poems. There are no theme, or genre limitations. Submissions can be written in English, or BCMS languages (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin.) Those writing in BCMS languages may write in Latin or Cyrillic script.
Fee: $15 for up to 3 submissions in each category (3 stories, 3 poems or 3 essays), $8 for one.
Deadline: 31st December 2015.

Prize: The winning entry in each category (short story, essay and poem) will receive US$1000. Winning entries will be published in the first issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine. Authors will also receive three printed copies of the first issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine.

Flash 500 Competition

Details: A quarterly flash fiction contest for stories of up to 500 words on any theme.
Fee: £5 each, £8 for two.
Deadline: 31st December 2015 – but if you miss that, there’s another on 31st March 2016.
Prizes: 1st – £300 and publication in Words With Jam.
2nd – £200.
3rd – £100.
Highly Commended – A copy of The Writer’s ABC Checklist.

99 Words

Details: A monthly competition for very short stories – write a story in 99 words or less on the subject matter chosen for the month. This December the theme is ‘Beauty’.
Fee: Free to enter.
Deadline: 31st December 2015.
Prize: Publication on the website.

University of New Orleans – Writing Workshops Abroad

Details: Submit your best creative writing and win $1,000 toward studying with the Writing Workshops in Cork, Ireland in the summer of 2016. The contest is open to all writers in English, in the U.S. and abroad, and judged by a jury of award-winning writers.
Fee:$25 per submission (limit 3).
Deadline: January 4, 2016 (see, you get a few extra days…)
Prizes: Four awards of $1,000. One each in the genres of: fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and scriptwriting. Submissions are also considered for publication in Bayou Magazine.

The best of luck if you enter any of these competitions, and do let us know how you get on!

Further reading:

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Written by
Jessica Barrah
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Writing, Competitions, and Prizes